Chapter 119: Here and There, what’s the difference? (6)

The Empress of Great Yong, the Grand Elder of the Heavenly Sword Sect, and one young girl all fell into an introspective moment of silence.

Each of the three persons gazed towards the cold and lonely fringe of the moon, though their bestowed wishes and sentiments greatly differed from the other.

“Do… you not have any suitable candidates as of now?”

The old man seemed to have withered a few years in a brief snapshot of time, his expression completely despondent and exhausted.

Simply from hearing the fatigued voice, An Fei could not connect him with the smiling, boisterous elderly figure she had glimpsed standing near the bonfire to greet Feng Yu Xin.

from hearing the fatigued voice, An Fei could not connect him with the smiling, boisterous elderly figure she had glimpsed standing near the bonfire to greet Feng Yu Xin.

“The Young Misses who I am escorting on this trip, I do not know their identities for certain,” the empress slowly spoke in a somber tone.

“Even more so, I do not know their personalities, their potential as cultivators, and most of all, their compatibility with your third great-grandson.”

“…this is quite the bittersome task, is it not?” Tian Mu huffed a breath of air in resigned dejection.

The elderly man prodded the ground with the wooden stick within his hand, venting his sadness onto the innocent yet equally devastating soil of the forest.

The breath of tranquility attempted to return to the surroundings of the carriage, yet was fiercely rebuffed without any mercy.

The coarse rubbing of a paper scroll suddenly overtook the rustling of grass swaying to the gentle night breeze.

“Here, take a look for yourself.”

Tian Mu passed along the object to the empress, sitting on his stone and leaning against the wall of the imperial carriage.

As the elder rhythmically tapped his stick on the ground, Feng Yu Xin released a noncommittal sound as she began to read the contents of the scroll, but abruptly jerked her head towards the old man.

The empress stared at the Grand Elder of the Heavenly Sword Sect in silent outrage, her plain but bewitching countenance revealing nothing but stupefied shock.

“Tian Mu, you’re crazy!” the woman shouted in panicked anger, shaking the scroll towards the elder.

“A Soul-Binding Contract!? Your third great-grandson signed such a ghastly document that implements the cruel heavens as the witness and judge!?”

“That’s right.”

The old man released a harsh sigh, the pair of aged eyes clenched shut in agony.

“This foolish great-grandson of mine drafted a Soul-Binding Contract upon first glance without even consulting his elders or parents. Although the contents of the contract allow him to gain a sharp advantage regardless of the fearsome detriments the contract poses, I wouldn’t be this panicked about his first marriage if he hadn’t written such a contract in the first place.”

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Feng Yu Xin’s jaw slackened at the insanity of the soon-to-be eighteen-year-old teenaged youth, and the woman only managed to recover after a long moment.

As she nibbled on her second mooncake, An Fei gave witness to the empress scouring the paper scroll with the full extent of her abilities, not hesitating to investigate the poor memorial object with a harsh glare suffused with concentrated spiritual essence.

“The contractor shall only partake in one female companion, to be designated as his wife under the impartial decrees of the heavens…” Feng Yu Xin quietly murmured in amazement.

“Furthermore, the contracted shall not partake in any outside interpersonal relationships prohibited by the contractor, but is assured of the natural basic rights of living existence unless equivalenced with appropriate measures… Neither the contracted nor contractor shall violate their partition without suffering divine tribulation, and inviting calamity towards their destiny…”

“…a youngling who isn’t even of age wrote this document?”

The empress shook her head in amazement, disbelief refusing to depart from her gaze.

The elder similarly shook his head with bemusement, pointing to a specific section of the numerous characters scrawling over the paper scroll with his finger.

“Isn’t he simply that brilliant of a youth?” Tian Mu revealed a sneer.

“Take a look at this section, ah. Though he can’t cultivate, his unique ability permits himself to live without restraint and for an undefined amount of years that’s certainly surpassing that of a Nascent Soul Realm cultivator, and he launches this sort of clause, ah.”

“The contracted and contractor share their intricate fluctuations of destiny upon the conferment of the contract…” the empress recited in a slow voice, her tone even and smooth until suddenly revealing a high-pitched exclamation of surprise.

“The contract bestows the natural affinity of Yang towards the contractor, and the affinity of Yin towards the contracted. The contractor and contracted will maintain the state of interconnected destiny even beyond reincarnation and death, and the contractor seeks a dominant position – Hey! I thought this lad was seeking for a wife, not a pet to hug and snuggle with during the evenings! How is this fair, ah!?”

The woman’s countenance was particularly exquisite to witness when accompanied by the moonlight as she tore her gaze from the paper scroll clenched within her hands.

Tian Mu could not help but agree that Feng Yu Xin’s countenance was strikingly amusing, containing equal blends of righteous anger, disbelief, astonishment, and the desire to both laugh and cry combined into one attractive countenance.

…the young girl also wished to obtain a glance…

“That’s why, you need to help your old friend, ah!” the elder sighed once more in bitterness.

“The knowledge regarding Ming Xia’s Soul-Binding Contract isn’t anything that’s confidential within the Heavenly Sword Sect. Although I possess the original copy within my grasp as of the moment, if I can’t successfully find a partner for my great-grandson, then I’ll have to return it to the possession of the sect. “

“This old sack of bones is merely a Grand Elder; I can’t get involved in the political side of matters, and who knows how many uncles, granduncles, and cousins are vying to ruin this lad’s future.”

Feng Yu Xin handed the scroll back to Tian Mu, sitting besides the elder man against the wall of the imperial carriage in silence.

Just a few centimeters away on the other side of the wall, An Fei lounged around whilst palming the blue silk pouch in her hand.

Unfortunately, the next few exchanges that slithered past the windowsill of the carriage was sufficient to chill her blood and cause the young girl to freeze in terror.

“…if the matter is this severe, I can only think of three people,” the empress opened her mouth with a heavy exhale.

“Two from families of an Imperial Censor, and one from an official Jing Yi trusts with his life.”

“Such important personages?”

Tian Mu raised an eyebrow in surprise.

The elderly man whirled around the face Feng Yu Xin, the pair of aged eyes glaring at the empress with a mixture of anticipation and excitement.

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“The Taiyi Sect’s opportunity shouldn’t hold that much appeal to persons like them, being an Imperial Censor or a life-protecting official of an emperor of one of the Three Great Empires. Why are they on this trip?”

“Enough, let’s not talk too much about that trivial matter, shall we?”

Feng Yu Xin revealed a wry smile, her charming countenance displaying a cunning expression.

“Since you requested for my help, then I won’t be skimping on the favor you’ve bestowed me. Though I spoke of three candidates that would certainly suit your criteria, there’s really only one person who would be the most compatible, but that official… is rather troublesome.”

“What trouble?” the elderly man exclaimed, thumping the wooden staff against the abused earth.

“Come, tell this old man that trouble, ah! There shan’t be a more severe trouble that I face than the issue with my great-grandson’s marriage!”

“More severe trouble?” the empress smirked at the bumbling old man.

Mincing her words to better tempt the overly pleased and excited Tian Mu one step further, Feng Yu Xin slapped the paper scroll the elderly man clutched in his bosom, causing the latter to jump with a startled squawk.

“Just to force this girl into coming along, I had to bargain my status of my empress as collateral. That fellow actually dared to exchange a life-preserving token to force me to come along as Feng Yu Xin instead of Empress Hong Yu, how can this not be any trivial matter, ah? Are you still that confident of upholding such a task?”

The young girl stiffened against the blackwood walls, her usually feeble heart biting against her ribcage with a death-suffused fervor.

An Fei strained her ears as she continued to listen through the windowsill, but her eyes had already begun locating the leather bag that the First Madam had bestowed onto her.

…she had heard this conversation to a sufficient degree; the young girl was more than capable of determining that the person in target was indeed, her.

Amongst the three maidens that had accompanied the empress on the imperial carriage, who else but her was not from a family of an Imperial Censor?

Run!

She had to run.

“How is that not a trivial task!?” Tian Mu cried in prideful anger, slapping his chest in confidence.

“Worry not, my old friend! The Heavenly Sword Sect is equally as capable as the Taiyi Sect, if not possessing greater reserves of strength and capability. This fellow official of yours, I believe he would submit if the rice has already been cooked.”

“You-you’re actually thinking of that type of approach!?” the empress flinched with surprise, before waving both hands before the elder in great haste.

“You’re underestimating that little Wei’s ability a little too much, ah! He even dares swear at Jing Yi in front of the court during sessions each day; if that Wei Xuan were to learn about you attempting to have your third great-grandson Ming Xia cook rice with his daughter, regardless of however heavenly Ming Xia’s ability is, that Wei Xuan would pit the entire empire against you, and even I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, much less Jing Yi!”

The Empress of Great Yong and the Grand Elder of the Heavenly Sword Sect continued to debate over the marriage of the Grand Elder’s third great-grandson. However, the young girl had long fled the imperial carriage, a leather bag slung over her shoulder, and a terrified expression spattered across her alluring countenance.

- my thoughts:
Oh dear...
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